Credits: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
Martin Reisch, 33, said he was travelling to drop off Christmas gifts for friends south of the 49th last week when, about half an hour away from the border, he realized he'd left his passport at home, The Associated Press reported. He said he was able to cross from Quebec with the digital version of the document.
"He took the iPad into the little border hut," Reisch is quoted as saying. "He was in there a good five, six minutes. It seemed like an eternity. When he came back, he took a good long pause before wishing me a Merry Christmas."
"The assertion that a traveller was admitted into the U.S.
using solely a scanned image of his passport on an iPad is categorically false," U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
The agency said scanned or digital images are not accepted forms of ID, and that Reisch had two other valid pieces of identification.
"The individual had both a driver's licence and birth certificate, which the CBP officer used to determine identity and citizenship in order to admit the traveller into the country."
Canadians used to be able to enter the U.S. with just a driver's licence, until the rules changed in 2009.
Reisch also said he used the digital image again to re-enter Canada later that day.